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Monday June 9, 2008 - 10:46:32 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: The Euro Breaks 1.58; German 2/10 Spread Inverts Further


·SZ May Unemployment Rate: 2.4% v 2.5%e

·SZ May Unemployment Rate sa: 2.5% v 2.5%e || Prior revised from 2.6% to 2. 5%

·GE Apr Trade Balance: €18.7B v €15.6Be || Prior revised from €16. 7B to €16.6B

·GE Apr Current Account: €14.5B v €14.7Be || Prior revised from €17.2B to €17.5B

·GE Apr Imports: -2.1% v 0. 2%e

·GE Apr Exports: 1.2% v 0.5%e

·SW May Budget Balance [sek]: 13.5B v 23.3B prior

·UK May PPI Input: M/M 3.8% v 2.6%e || Prior revised from 2.4% to 3.2% |||| Y/Y 27.9% v 23.8%e || Prior revised from 23.3% to 24.3%

·UK May PPI Output: M/M 1.6% v 0.8%e || Prior revised from 1.4% to 1.5% |||| Y/Y 8.9% v 7.9%e || Prior revised from 7.5% to 7.6%

·UK May PPI Output Core: M/M 1.2% v 0.4%e || Prior revised from 1.0% to 1.2% |||| Y/Y 5.9% v 4.8%

·EU June Sentix Investor Confidence: 5.2 v 3.9e

·RU Russian Central Bank raised the Refi Rate by 25bps to 10.75%

·RU Russian Central Bank raised the Deposit Rate by 25bps to 6.75%


·In sector rotation overnight Lehman downgraded their view on the European equities to underweight from overweight, cutting their weighting to 12% from 24%. Lehman upgraded their view on the
US equities to overweight from underweight, boosting their weighting to 52% from 42%.

·According to the Financial Times Deutsche Post [DPB.GE] is expected to begin the formal sale process for Postbank in the next few days. According to the article some value Postbank at about €10B. According to the Wall Street Journal Lehman (LEH) is near raising $5B in capital, and May report a $2B loss in the second quarter. The Wall Street Journal wrote overnight that JetBlue's (JBLU) LiveTV unit is planning to buy Verizon Communications' (VZ) Airfone Network.

·According to the Lundberg survey average regular gasoline prices rose to $4/gallon on June 6th (+$0.21 over May 16). According to the survey, oil prices of $139/barrel are sustained, gasoline prices could rise by $0. 30/gallon over the next few weeks. The Ecuadorian Oil Minister said overnight that he sees no need for OPEC to increase production. Goldman Sachs' Commodities Research Head said overnight that oil prices may hit $150/barrel this summer system, noting that demand for oil is weak, and supplies are even weaker. The Nigerian Oil Minister said overnight that OPEC cannot affect current oil price volatility, adding that a pre-Sept meeting would only fuel speculation. The Libyan oil minister reiterated overnight that oil prices are expected to break the $140-handle this month, adding that today's oil decline is a slight correction. The minister also said that the oil market is well supplied and does not warrant OPEC action.

·In fixed income noews overnight, during the ECB's post-rate announcement press conference last week the ECB's Trichet essentially confirmed that the ECB would raise interest rates at the July policy- setting meeting. This topic has since been widely discussed with some market commentators, such as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard from the Telegraph, comparing the believed to be imminent rate hike to the Bundesbank's ill- judged rate hike in 1987, which preceded the Black Monday crash after the Dollar fell into a tailspin. The 2/10-year inversion in
Germany has widened since the open on the back of safe haven buying into the short end of the curve as markets believe that an ECB rate hike will hurt global markets as well as the 2009 Euro-Zone growth outlook. The Bank of International Sentiments made some comments overnight noting that, although US and European central banks have sought to raise market liquidity, various monetary authorities have cut their holdings of fx reserves in the banking system. The BIS pointed out that interbank loans have declined since last August, adding that they sees a cautious return of risk tolerance emerging. Furthermore the BIS said that the ABX index may be overstating the projected losses on triple-A securities by more than 60% and the BIS sees such losses at $73B.

·According to the Wall Street Journal, on Friday, the top finance official for the
UK's opposition party met with the Fed's Bernanke. The report said that both parties discussed ways to prevent a repeat of the credit crisis. According to sources in Washington, the Financial Times wrote, US officials are concerned about the recent rise in the EUR/USD pair following Trichet's surprise comments last week. Some US officials believe that an ECB rate hike will undermine efforts to prevent the USD from falling further against the EUR. The article adds that currency fluctuations are expected to be discussed by the G8. The UAE Central Bank Chief said overnight that the GCC currency could be delayed beyond 2010, due to inflation. The Central Bank Chief added that the Dollar will remain currency of choice in sovereign foreign exchange reserves. Liam Halligan wrote in the Telegraph overnight that a decade on, the Euro-Zone is still enduring the co-ordination problems that have bedevilled it from the outset. France is set to grow almost 2% this year, Italy barely at all. The credit crunch has sent Spain into a tailspin, but Germany will probably muscle its way through. So where should the ECB set interest rates? Trichet hinted last week that with Euro-zone inflation now at 3.6% rates may need to rise. That may suit inflation-averse Germany, but it could crucify debt-driven nations such as Italy, Spain and Ireland. The ECB's policy headaches just got even worse. Trichet's clear signal on rates caused the Euro to rise, which sent the dollar crashing. However, that dollar fall, in turn, sent oil spiraling all the way to $139 a barrel. That, of course, raises Europe's energy costs, so provoking more Euro-zone inflation. Trichet merely compounded the problem he was trying to solve. As the downturn deepens, and political tensions rise, the policy needs of the region's very different major economies - to say nothing of the little ones - will somehow need to be reconciled. That is why I genuinely believe the euro may ultimately not survive. Currency unions have endured only when - like the UK and US - they've been fused after generations of political union and held together by a federal tax system. The euro, in contrast, is built on a series of policy conflicts, confusions and even delusions.

·On the speaker front overnight the IMF's Strauss-Kahn said overnight that he sees EMU 2008 GDP higher than expected, adding that the ECB is acting as needed to anchor inflation expectations. German Finance Minister Steinbrueck said overnight that inflation is expected to average 3. 0% in 2008, noting that he sees a high probability of 1.7% GDP growth in 2008. Steinbrueck added that inflation is likely to dampen growth in 2009. The Dutch Finance Minister said overnight that he is concerned about Euro Zone inflation, adding that we must not be too quick to urge action on Euro exchange rate.

·Looking ahead, there is only one economic release scheduled in the
US today, the April pending home sales, which are due out at 10:00 ET. There is no new supply today, however there are a few Fed speakers. The Fed's Geithner is scheduled to speak on monetary policy in New York at 12:15 ET, while the Fed's Rosengren is scheduled to speak at a banking conference at 17:00 ET. The Fed's Bernanke is scheduled to speak at the Boston Fed conference at 20:15 ET. Elsewhere the ECB's Noyer, and Trichet, as well as the SNB's Roth are all scheduled to speak throughout the US session.


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